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Climate Change: Mind-Blowing Warnings from Arctic and Antarctica

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/27/climate-change-mind-blowing-warnings-arctic-and-antarctica

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We are truly in (pardon the unintended metaphorical and not funny pun) un-chartered waters here. If nothing else, philosophy has a challenge like no other posed before it. An existential threat based on science and not superstition. I tend to go with the Late Great George Carlin on this one, but I have the luxury of no progeny. Still, I want the best for all Life on Earth. It was my passion in my career and it is indelibly stamped in my moral system.

Editorial note: CD, please note that degrees here are in Celsius, which are 1.8 times more impactful than degrees Fahrenheit, to which many readers are accustomed.

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What is mind blowing is that the sociopathic oligarch class and their political puppets apparently refuse to acknowledge the climate catastrophe that is likely going to render our lives extinct and sooner than later. They apparently are so disconnected from reality as they continue to chase and amass endless and insane artificial wealth. They are literally insane. The citizens must stop voting for either of the two corporate parties and shut down the system that is killing off life on earth. But in the USA where the citizens are morons they will likely go happily along with death for everyone.

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It has been said that the greatest intellectual failing of mankind is lack of understanding of the mathematical exponential function. Well, mankind is about to get a very practical lesson: we’re on the knee of an exponential curve, where everything to the left (the past) looks mild mannered, and gradual, and everything to the right (the future) is a wild, unprecedented maelstrom.

There will undoubtedly be comments forthcoming about ‘humankind’ deserved this, and ‘had it coming’, and the Earth will be better off without us, etc., etc. I used to (in my youth) subscribe also to such notions, but have learned (the hard way) that humans can suffer as much or more than Polar Bears and Eider Ducks. No creature deserves the fate that is approaching us humans and the biosphere. But that fate is indeed approaching. We may be able to engineer our way out of some of this, but wild climate destabilization appears to be ‘baked into’ the system now, the methane cycle is beginning, and once begun, it will be virtually impossible to stop. Let us have compassion for those (including ourselves) that will suffer from this, and understand that it is only a very small fraction of humanity that has caused this. Please direct you anger and angst at them and not at our entire species, as you mourn the other species that will be lost, amidst much suffering.

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Phrased imprecisely, so it’s hard to tell what evidence might indicate as much. I have yet to see signs of methane burpage in any report of a monitoring station anywhere. (The one in Barrow, for instance):

~https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=BRW&program=ccgg&type=ts

Large methane sources have been discovered in Antarctica, but these are poorly studied areas, and there won’t be any record to indicate whether the seepage they’re detecting today has always been there. Science has been through the same data-scarcity problem over methane seepage in the ESAS (Arctic Sea). But we do have atmospheric monitoring, which so far indicates no massive methane burp – only gradual ramping up at the pace of CO2 (which is bad enough – to be sure!)

Thank you. I am getting tired of the myopic feeling that “this is what we deserve”. No we deserve better, for all our faults and mistakes, humankind deserves to try to make up for their mistakes. I am always a believer in this. Plus being of the defeatist mindset is a roundabout way of admitting you don’t want to even try to solve the problem either. It is true that we are facing perhaps an impossible task but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. If we are all going to die anyway we might as well try.

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xttps://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/24/thawing-arctic-permafrost/

And don’t forget the ubiquitous pingos.

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Yes, the majority of humans are pure innocents, whether they be infants or elderly, or anywhere in between, just struggling to live. It is hurtful in the extreme to watch as an animal suffers for whatever reason. But it is somehow innate for humans to be less tuned to be empathic when that suffering is amongst our own. It’s sad, but apparently true.

Hi TrumpTowerofBabeI:
PeopIe wiII not be dying FOR their country----but BECAUSE of it. : (

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You must understand, don’t you? If there’s an anomalous load of methane getting into the atmosphere, it would have to show up in the atmospheric monitoring data – or else if it doesn’t, then you can tell it’s not that globally significant. That’s the tale of the evidence.

Alternatively, you can pick and choose which evidence to heed. But that way lies madness. We’re still not clear on what you’re actually claiming about atmospheric methane anyhow.

You must understand, don’t you that if there is on-site prima-facia evidence of large releases commencing in areas that are of intense concern for such releases, increasing local concentrations by orders of magnitude from normalcy, and the scientists doing the monitoring are raising the highest level of alarm, then there truly is something about which to be concerned? You must understand, don’t you, the nature of an exponential function - the rising tail is indicative of a ever rapidly increasing rate in the future? You must understand, don’t you, that local (as in widely spanning, but latitudinally limited global regions) release will precede indicators in of globally mixed atmospheric content, and as you must understand, don’t you, that the global-mixing (in latitude, longitude and altitude) is a complex and non-linear function, wherein arctic releases might not show up immediately (or even soon) at Mauna Kea? Follow, and read the links.

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No, we don’t understand without evidence. Why verge off from the evidence, where the science doesn’t go? Isn’t it better to account for all the evidence, as in science? If you can’t account for the atmospheric monitoring data (or any other well established data) you’re full of shit, like the science deniers.

Follw and read the links.

Explain what you refuse to account for, or else shut up.

Read the provided material - that you asked for, or else shut up.

Your original description of “the methane cycle starting up” makes no sense, by the way. The carbon cycle, with its methane cycle, is with us, with Life on Earth. Why would I be interested in someone who refuses to make sense, such as yourself? For years we hear from methane alarmists that the big burp is now starting, with no sign of it in the data. This is stupid and I’m sick of it.

The “methane cycle” as in a feedback loop of methane-mediated heating releasing more methane - which, as you know, don’t you? - is 80x more powerful a GH gas than CO2. You asked for the science, I gave you the link, but as a true ‘denier’, you’ll have none of the science, but will stick to your pro-corporate/fascist drivel. It is stupid, and I’m sick of it.